Iran executes four it claims were Israel’s ‘spies and saboteurs’

Iran's latest use of the gallows saw four alleged Israeli spies put to death.

Iran's latest use of the gallows saw four alleged Israeli spies put to death. Photo: EPA

Iran has executed four people, including a woman, who it accused of being “saboteurs” with links to Israel’s Mossad intelligence service, the Mizan news agency affiliated with the judiciary says.

The executions on Friday took to five the number of people put to death in December in a decades-long shadow war that has seen Iran accuse Israel of attacks on its nuclear effort, charges the latter has never confirmed or denied.

“Four members of a sabotage team associated with the Zionist regime … were executed this morning following legal procedures,” the news agency said, accusing them of “extensive” actions, guided by Mossad officers, targeting Iran’s security.

Friday’s executions in West Azerbaijan province followed Iran’s mid-December execution of a fifth accused Mossad agent in the southeastern province of Sistan-Baluchestan.

The semi-official Tasnim news agency identified the four executed on Friday as Vafa Hanareh, Aram Omari, and Rahman Parhazo, along with the woman, named Nasim Namazi.

They were the principal convicts in a case that involved 10 offenders, it said, but it was not immediately clear if the rest would also face execution.

The official IRNA news agency posted a video clip almost eight minutes in length, that showed the men confessing to their alleged co-operation with a Mossad officer in neighbouring Turkey, who used two names, Tony and Arash.

It said their mission entailed kidnappings, threatening and setting fire to vehicles and homes of unnamed targets and stealing their mobile phones.

Iranian intelligence put the group under close surveillance for at least four months, from about January 2022 until their arrest sometime that May, when they were “transferred from a neighbouring country” to Iran, the video clip showed.

“They were training us for bigger assignments,” an unidentified young man in a blue-striped shirt said in the clip.

At the time of the arrests, Iranian media said the 10, who were in video communication with Mossad officers, “set fire to cars and homes of people affiliated with the security apparatus and received cash for taking photos they sent to Mossad agents”.

Iran has accused Israel of carrying out several attacks on facilities linked to its nuclear program and of killing its nuclear scientists in the past years.

Israel has neither denied nor confirmed the allegations.


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